B-Sides with a twist
Squarepusher has a proven record of taking electronic music to its limits. Known for folding neck breaking percussive grooves into melodic leads and funky basslines, he continues to experiment with more ambient, slower paced music. Just off a new album, Squarepusher has released an EP of b-sides called Lamental. While much of the same melodic motifs and bustling rhythms show up on Lamental, most of the track list is at a relaxed paced, centered around thoughtful compositions and intriguing sound design.
“Detroit People Mover” is a slow and drumless composition, featuring a neo classical melodic progression, played by buzzing synths and layered ambient pads. This structurally dense track is filled with emotion and meaningful ebbs and flows. Less reliant on energy and sound design, it’s more focused on emotional progression. “Les Mains Dansent” is an interesting little detour into a short but sweet classical guitar motif. The track is a quiet and tasteful mid EP meditation where Squarepusher shows off his multi instrumentalism and versatility.
“Midi Sans Frontieres (Avec Batterie)” has some percussion, a subtle buildup of energy and a gradual emotional transformation. As the energy builds, the emotion becomes brighter and more triumphant. The composition and structure remain complex, ever shifting from one place to another. “The Paris Track” sounds like many tracks on Squarepsuher’s most recent album, Be Up Hello, complete with bombastic synth work, obvious and emotional melodic progressions and a driving drum machine rhythm. The sound design and synth layering creates a complex orchestra of moving parts which always sound good no matter how fractured.
This very short and sweet project gives fans of the Warp Records sound palette something to chew on. Great synth work and skillful composition is not new for Squarepusher, but these toned-down tracks are worth checking out on Lamental for any fans of electronic music.